“Communicate in the same language that your customers’ speak.”

That’s always my advice to clients.

Most of the time, they trust me and together, we create engaging content that works.

Other times, my advice is over-ridden. Despite crafting copy that draws the reader in, it’s changed (after sign off), and the published version morphs into corporate gobbledygook because “that’s what our audience expects” (apparently).

Speak in your customers’ language

Excuse me one moment while I put my psychologist’s hat on.

The first step to building trust (and you can’t sell without it) is building rapport.


Enter their world

To build rapport, you have to leave your preconceptions and prejudices behind and enter the world of your customer.

Don’t be judgemental; instead be curious.

Imagine yourself the parent of a teenager. They listen to music you can’t stand at full volume. You have two choices: either scream at them to turn it down or listen to it and ask them what it is they like about it so much. The first will alienate, the second will open up communication channels.


Active listening

Contrary to popular belief, the best way to get your point across isn’t to talk over people. The best way is to listen.

Listening creates understanding. When you do speak, ask open questions to get the other person to open up and talk to you. Listen to how they communicate. I’m pretty sure they won’t speak in corporate or marketing-speak.


Understanding their point of view

Your mind is full of preconceptions.

You’ve been in your business or industry for a long time. You understand it inside out and back to front. It’s so ingrained, you and your colleagues have your own language with which to communicate. The problem no one outside your office walls understands you.

While you maintain this ‘closed mind’, you’re going to have a tough time building rapport with your customers.

That’s why every copywriter you meet will tell you that the most effective content focuses on your customers and their needs.

Remember the conversation with the teenager I mentioned earlier? By engaging with them and asking what they like about the music shows that you want to understand them.

It’s also important to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What’s happening in their life that means they want your product/service? If they had it, how would it improve their life?

Switching viewpoint like this helps you move away from judgement and a blinkered approach to your marketing, and take a more open and compassionate stance.

Be mindful of others

Remember, if you want to influence someone, you have to be willing to be influenced too.

By integrating the thoughts and desires of others into your marketing strategy, you’ll develop a level of rapport never before seen.

If all this sounds rather daunting, don’t worry. Writing from within your own business is a challenge. Just ask any copywriter who’s trying to write fresh copy for their website!

However, finding a writer who can help you gain that external viewpoint is a worthy investment. Your content will be transformed from corporate drivel to engaging customer-focused copy that will stand you apart from your competitors.


Sally Ormond helps corporates (large and small) speak their customers’ language. Call her on +44(0) 1440 779605 and find out how she can transform your marketing.